Witness to Dundalk Shooting: Police Fired Through Glass Door

… Man dies at hospital; police reviewing shooting …

baltimoresun.com

By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun

12:13 PM EDT, September 26, 2011

A man armed with a knife who was shot during a confrontation with Baltimore County police Sunday night has died, and a department spokeswoman confirmed a witness account that an officer fired at the man through a glass storm door.

“They killed an innocent man who needed help,” said Sandra Jacobs, whose daughter dated the man.

Det. Cathy Batton, a county police spokeswoman, said Monday that the 40-year-old man “was behind a glass door” and “was charging at the officer” with a knife in his hand. She said the officer and the man were in “close proximity.”

A statement released by police this morning said officer responded about 9:20 p.m. to the home in the 7000 block of Berkshire Road for a man threatening suicide. Officers saw Nathaniel D. McCormick “standing near the door inside the home” and ordered him to drop the knife.

Police said in the statement that he refused. “He then charged toward the front door and the officers standing on the front porch on the other side of the door. Fearing for their safety, one officer fired several rounds from his duty weapon.”

Another spokesman, Lt. Robert McCullough, said the man “was coming through the door at the officer” and at one point had been armed two knives, one with a nine-inch blade. Batton said this morning she did not know which knife he was holding when he was shot.

Police said the shooting is under internal investigation and that the officer who fired his weapon has been placed on routine administrative leave. Batton declined to release the name of the officer.

Jacobs, who lived in the same house with the man, said McCormick came home on Sunday and got into an argument with her daughter, who also lives at the house in the 7000 block of Berkshire Road. Jacobs said her daughter was concerned that McCormick might harm himself, but Jacobs said he had not threatened the family.

Police said they received a 911 call asking them to come to the brick rowhouse because a man was threatening suicide. When police arrived, Jacobs said she and her daughter were standing outside with her two grandchildren. Her daughter was crying and told police to get her boyfriend some help.

“She begged them to call an ambulance. She wanted someone to come and take him to the hospital and calm him down,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs said police shouted at the man to drop his weapons and then fired three or four shots through the door. “Then they ran in the house,” she said. Jacobs said the man was armed only with pen knives, but McCullough said the knives were larger.

Paramedics worked on the man for about 45 minutes in the house, Jacobs said, before he was taken by ambulance to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Jacobs said she and her daughter went to the hospital, where they were told he was dead.

Jacobs, who was watching police investigators comb the grass for evidence outside her house early Monday morning, said she was upset and angry.

A neighbor, Ashley Wetherbee, said she saw the incident from her front porch about a half a block away. She said police screamed: “‘Put the weapon down. Put it down’ and just started firing,” she said. “They were standing outside.”

“I just think it was wrong. There was no attempt to talk him out.”

Baltimore County police said this morning that they would release a more detailed account shortly.

Liz.bowie@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun

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